Visit to a Small Planet Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Roger invite onto his television show?

2. Why is Kreton surprised sex is such a taboo topic?

3. What does Ellen announce she will do at the end of the Act, in regard to Conrad?

4. What finally causes Conrad to fight?

5. What does Powers tell Kreton he is to the military?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play, martial law is declares as part of security measures. Discuss the following in terms of martial law in the play:

Part 1. Who declares Martial law in the play? Why? What is the purpose of martial law in the play?

Part 2. What are the consequences of such a declaration on the inhabitants of the Spelding household? On Conrad? On Kreton? On viewers of Roger's broadcast?

Part 3. Do you think martial law is fair to innocent individuals such as the Speldings? If so, what are your justifications? If not, what would your alternate solution be to keep from having international panic?

Essay Topic 2

In the play, Vidal references the standing political condition between Russia and the United States, often referred to as the Cold War. Choose one of the following to discuss.

1. Why do you think Vidal bases the novel on the Cold War fears of the United States military? What is he trying to say about the suspicious nature of both sides? What threats exist in such a suspicious environment, as is shown by the creation of hostilities by Kreton? What could such conditions result in?

2. Examine one specific comment in the play that refers to the feelings against Russians by the United States. Discuss the comment in terms of historical significance. What does such a comment tell you about the political situation in the time this play was written? What does the inclusion of such comments indicate in terms of Vidal's position on the Cold War? Why?

Essay Topic 3

In the book, there are several references made to time travel, and the effects of such an event. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. If Kreton's war had taken place, would history have changed? Why? What was Kreton's intended result? Would that have affected the future of the planet? Why or why not?

2. Kreton notes that history books would have to be altered. In real life, are history books ever changed? Why or why not? What does this say about time? What does this say about our perception of time? Was Kreton right, therefore, when he said time was relative? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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